by Pat Duncan, Master Gardener, SCMG
The weather is still cool, but it’s definitely time for some spring colour. Pansies are the perfect choice for spring containers. Pansies are one of the most popular and recognizable cool weather annuals. They are the colourful flowers with “faces” that follow the sun throughout the day. Pansies like it cool so they are great for spring planting in containers.
Use pansies to brighten up your front porch and welcome your visitors. Plant them in a large container with sprouted pots of spring tulips or daffodils as a colourful addition to the arrangement.
The key to designing successful containers with pansies is to realize that they are low growers. Grow them as a “filler/spiller” plant with larger plants like tulips, daffodils or even hyacinths.
Add some height to the container by sticking in a few branches of dogwood, corkscrew willow or fresh cut pussy willow into the centre.
Over a few weeks the branches will begin to leaf out and add some extra interest to the container.
When buying pansies, choose plants that are stocky and have plenty of buds waiting to open. As they continue to grow in the container, pinch off spent flowers to help them bloom and re-bloom.
Pansies are one of the most versatile and cool weather tolerant plants for use in our gardens and containers.
Some varieties (Icicle Pansies) are guaranteed to overwinter (if planted in the ground in late summer or early fall, will come up the next spring).
A cool season container planted with colourful pansies and a variety of spring bulbs will last through the season and be sure to brighten your day.
Pansies are one of my favourite spring flowers. Their sunny “faces” bring a blast of cheery colour to the garden in early springtime.